One of the nation's premier newspapers fesses up about allegations of pro-Obama bias. The Washington Post's ombudsperson, Deborah Howell, tracked its presidential campaign stories, front-page coverage and use of photos covering the period from Obama's nomination on June 4 to Election Day. The result?
Howell writes: "The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces about McCain, 58, than there were about Obama, 32, and Obama got the editorial board's endorsement. …
"Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Reporters, photographers and editors found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. Journalists love the new; McCain, 25 years older than Obama, was already well known and had more scars from his longer career in politics.
"The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain's 786. Both had hard-fought primary campaigns, but Obama's battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton was longer, and the numbers reflect that.
"McCain clinched the GOP nomination on March 4, three months before Obama won his. From June 4 to Election Day, the tally was Obama, 626 stories, and McCain, 584. Obama was on the front page 176 times, McCain, 144 times; 41 stories featured both. …
"But Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of his undergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship with Antoin 'Tony' Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddling in Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama's acknowledged drug use as a teenager. …
"One gaping hole in coverage involved Joe Biden, Obama's running mate. When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters were booking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right."
Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!
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